Synthesis and Optimization of Digital Circuits Hardcover – Jan 1 1994
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The first hundred pages or so lay out mathematical basics. Graph theory pervades later discussion, so it gets a thorough review in this early section. There's also a little about boolean logic - not the kids' stuff, but a variety of representations, plenty to get the reader's mind set into mathematical orientation of the rest of the book.
Part II, chapters 4-6 are, for me, the real meat of the presentation. They deal with the higher, architectural levels of synthesis, with a strong discussion of scheduling of shared resources. This book predates modern system-on-chip design, so it doesn't get to the level of on-chip busses and networks. The datapath and resource management issues are just as important today as when this book was written, though. And, even if it omits references from the ten-plus years since its writing, it gives today's reader a solid preparation for creating tools on the cutting edge of system synthesis.
The remaining chapters, although thorough and competent, are not in the center of my interests. They deal at length with decomposition of logic and control into gate-level constructs. De Micheli's discussion goes far beyond freshman logic design since, as he points out, "Most classical methods are not practical for circuits of usual size." Chapter 10 goes beyond classic and/or decomposition, and well into the quirks and limitations of real cell libraries. FPGAs are mentioned only briefly - understandable, since they had not acquired the importance given them by the decade-plus of technology shifts since the book was written. A modern successor to this book would probably have a lot more to say about FPGA-based implementation, and would probably address placement and routing issues that De Micheli had no need to address.
Despite its 1994 copyright date, this book is still current and relevant. It gives its reader a broad and rigorous start on industrial-strength synthesis. I recommend this highly to anyone seriously involved in creating tools for logic and system design.
I'd love to meet the author, though, if only to learn how he duped everyone into thinking that this was a useful text.
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